Sunday, September 26, 2010

I See... Why, If you are a Man in the Church, you are Just Plain Dumb if you Don't Serve at the Annual Stake Relief Society Dinner

It was my privilege to spend roughly nine pleasant hours yesterday at the Stake Center helping the Stake Relief Society prepare, implement, and clean up after the annual dinner and General Broadcast. There are three really good reasons why I dedicated so much time to becoming a Relief Society gopher for a day. But, before I tell you that story, I have to tell you this story.

Serving others is the currency of heaven. It is how we build our mansions there. This truth bodes well for the sisters of the church, especially those who successfully endure and enjoy the challenges and joys of motherhood. Their time and energies are consumed in serving others, usually with their husbands and kids at the top of the list.

When we get to the celestial kingdom and locate the plot of heavenly real estate bequeathed to us, our wives and mothers will walk into glittering palaces built with stinky diapers, loads of laundry, midnight runs to the 24-drug store, and a number of casseroles made from home food storage products. Meanwhile, I'm earthly afraid that us guys will be escorted to a crude mud hut in the small forest of trees behind the mansion, a result of action-packed days and nights full of BYU football games, priesthood leadership meetings, and long hours at ego-stroking professions that often masqueraded as sacrifices to provide for our families. We will still be in heaven with our families; but we will be the mansion gardeners, and every so often we will want to be invited in the big house for a cup of warm hot chocolate. We are hoping that our wives will fondly remember our Saturday sacrifices once a year and reward us with some scraps off of their tables. That is the first reason.

The second reason is wrapped up in the overwhelming attitude of gratitude the sisters express for any sliver of help we might provide them that night. Whether it is dressing up as a sophisticated waiter and pampering them with a sumptuous dinner (which they, of course, prepared and cooked- we just reheated it in the kitchen), or moving tables and chairs and tablecloths and decorations form one spot to another, we are profusely thanked through every step of the process. No, I have not saved a baby from a burning building, or found a cure for cancer, but I have been thanked that night as if I had. What a great feeling.

The last reason, which shrivels in relative importance to the previous two, is... the food. I'm a little reluctant to reveal this secret benefit; the brethren will fighting each other to volunteer for this sacred duty, and that means less for me. In short, those who prepare and serve the dinner get to eat the leftovers while the sisters are in the chapel listening to our church leaders. The sisters really know how to feed themselves. This year it was all the curry chicken salad sandwiches and cheese and chocolate fondue I could eat. All I had to do was wash a few dishes, put a few tables and chairs away, and empty a few garbage cans. Plus, I might get to spend a little extra time in my wife's mansion in heaven...

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